Monday was the Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. From now until December, the days will gradually get shorter and shorter as the sun rises later and sets earlier each day. Or, at least, that’s IN GENERAL how it works, but the business of “Earth/Sun Geometry” is pretty complicated. For example, even through the length of daylight has been getting shorter and shorter each day this week, the actual time of sunset has continued to get later and later, which today actually being the day with the latest sunset of the year. It’s all pretty complex, but, as Dr. Jon Schrage explains in this episode of Weather Break, it’s all part of the year-long dance of the Earth and Sun.
It’s fun to play with the new WolframAlpha.com and experiment with the times of sunset and sunrise. For example, type in “sunset Ainsworth, NE” and you’ll get today’s sunset time. Type in “sunset Ainsworth, NE December 3″ and you’ll get the sunset time on that date.